The Homicide Report

The Times chronicles L.A. County
homicide victims

« Previous Post | The Homicide Report Home | Next Post »

Bellflower: Carlos Vela, 17

July 6, 2009 |  4:18 pm

Carlos Vela, a 17-year-old Latino, was shot in the head in the 9600 block of Beverly Street in Bellflower. He died on Monday, June 1, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Vela was accidentally shot by his friend James Kempski, 17, of Bellflower.

Deputies searched for Kempski after he accidentally shot Vela to death and then disappeared. He was reportedly despondent about the shooting and still has a gun, officials said.

Kempski and Vela, of Lawndale, were playing with a handgun when it fired, Lt. Dan Rosenberg said.

Kempski's father called law enforcement personnel from Arizona, where he was traveling on business, to report that his son was distraught because he had accidentally shot his friend.

Det. Phil Martinez said the boy told his father that he was afraid that no one would believe him and that he wanted to kill himself.

Vela's mother, Aida Portillo, appeared on local television news broadcasts to beg Kempski to turn himself in.

Investigators believe that there were other people at the home when Vela was shot and that Kempski is with friends, Martinez said.

-- Associated Press